A Whole Bunch Of Refers, Ed Hardy, Some Latex and a Giant Fake Penis :: The MK Awards 2011

Held in hall 4 of the CTICC in Cape Town the MK awards 2011 was an event that brought out the black collar rock n roll out in about 4 of the people that I saw attending. I must admit that I didn’t even dress-up too much, maybe it was because I didn’t really have anything ‘black collar / rock n roll’ or because I was too hung-over to care, but I was really keen to check out the awards show.

A great idea and well needed to the South African music industry: an award show that focuses on local talent who are voted for by the fans (of which over 500,000 votes were cast) and then ceremoniously handed over a physical accolade for their efforts in front of fans. Combine this with an event full of lights, pyrotechnics, ‘celebs’ and fans you must get a win? Well you’d be, hmmm, wrong…

Ushered into the event in an understandable rush as broadcast starts promptly at 20:00 and it was 19:50, I walked into a gigantic hall, full of metal refers (the big containers that you normally see on cargo ships) filled with white lights, a mass of visual stimulus smashing into the back of your cerebral cortex compounded by about 8 gargantuan projection screens which then confuses your eyes as to what to focus on. At the back sat the ‘celebs’, V.I.P’s, and purchasers of the seated tickets, directly in front of them were the ‘standers’ (I was one, more by choice :P) cattled into two sections with stages in front of each and both divided by a walkway down the middle for the award winners to strut down and collect their awards from on stage; whilst being ogled at by adoring fans.

What amazes me about when people utilize the CTICC for music events, such as this one, is that they do not seem to learn the vital lesson from all the previous ones : sound simply does not work in a hall of that size. When the first band came (Taxi Violence ft. Inge Beckmann) on to perform it sounded like a kick drum was used to beat to death the vocalists whilst the rest of the band played air guitar, this is through no fault or lack of talent of the performers or a poor attempt by the AV company, and even if this was the case, we could not hear anything from the audience perspective to judge it! But hey, I’m sure it’s more about the live broadcast on MK!

On a positive note it was amazing to look at, so much going on and happening in so many places that you felt that your senses were being made love to by Walt Disney’s inner child. Sparks were flying, angles were grinding and this continued all throughout the night.

Corné and Twakkie were the hosts of the event, and as always, they were AWESOME! If you weren’t in hysterics due to their costumes which combined latex, fake genitalia and weird S&M accessories you were hosing yourself at their antics. From harassing the audience, comparing one audience member with bushy hair to Macy Gray’s transvestite twin, and then the ‘celebs’, to their smart, off-the-cuff humour which always makes them a pleasure to watch. God they are great!
Besides that we were pushed through awards that rang familiar, like best music video etc, to some that make absolutely no sense, best neon / pornster (which Snotkop, a man that looks like he was entered by Ed Hardy’s kiddy-fiddler brother without consent, accepted with a video clip of him in the pool with 2 ladies in bikini’s either side: how corny can you get????); Prime Circle took an award for the best international breakthrough act over artists like Die Antwoord.

Now, Although I’m not a fan, some might consider that being signed to one of the biggest international major record labels, Interscope records, and headlining most major international festivals qualifies Die Antwoord and their butterflies for that award over Prime who?

The awards raged on. It was cool but the representation of local talent, performers who aren’t white and artists who are on ground level running things was poor.

It was a good start, but there are leaps and bounds to go. The actual event presentation was there, I just think that more consideration should have gone into the voting system, the actual awards being given out and the artists receiving them for the MK Awards to be considered a true zeitgeist of our music era as opposed to another MTV Base : a commercial entity that does more damage than good! Despite my bashing of this award show the idea is there and it can only get better. So I look forward to next year!

Alex Wright
Follow me

Alex Wright

Alex is an experienced digital analyst with a flavour for modern politics.
Alex Wright
Follow me